Wanted: 100,000 nurses for next generation of landmark study

Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) are recruiting 100,000 nurses to expand the landmark Nurses’ Health Study. Female RNs, LPNs, and nursing students, ages 20 to 46, who live in the U.S. or Canada are eligible to join.

The Nurses’ Health Study has followed more than 200,000 nurses since it began in the 1970s. More than 90 percent of the women who joined the study in 1976 or when it expanded in 1989 still answer annual confidential questionnaires. The surveys have provided important insights on women’s health, including cancer prevention, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

Areas to be explored in Nurses’ Health Study 3 include early contributors to breast cancer, reproductive health, and fertility, said Jorge Chavarro, assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH, who is helping to lead the research. The study also will assess workplace risk factors for nurses, including the effects of heavy lifting and exposure to anticancer drugs or anesthesia.

More than 25,000 women have already signed up for the new study; recruitment will continue until 100,000 participants are enrolled. The researchers hope the participants will represent diverse ethnic, geographic, and racial communities.

To participate or read more about Nurses’ Health Study 3, go to www.nhs3.org.

View a report on WCVB-TV (Ch. 5)

Read an article and view a video on Boston.com

Read about the study on WBUR’s CommonHealth

Learn more

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Newly identified genetic variants found to increase breast cancer risk (HSPH release)

The Nurses’ Health Study